Milford Board of Selectment say no to recreation funding

MILFORD – Money for bridge repair, public works vehicles and other basic town needs takes priority over recreation, selectmen told a member of the Keyes Expansion Committee recently.

At the board’s Dec. 26 meeting, Paul Bartolomucci asked the board to reconsider its decision to remove an article from the town warrant for Keyes Park improvements.

Last year, residents voted to establish a capital reserve fund and to put $25,000 for park improvements in it. For the 2018 warrant, selectmen decided against adding more money, saying they have other priorities they would like to see voters approve, including $325,000 worth of capital reserve funds and a replacement sidewalk plow.

The committee wants to begin the first phase of the three phases recommended in the park report, Bartolomucci said. The town has a revenue increase and its growing population means recreation needs are increasing, he added.

The committee worked for nine or 10 months, he said, and without sufficient funding, the report “will sit on a shelf and never be implemented,” and volunteers will become discouraged.

The first phase of the recommendations includes a road through both sections of the park to increase safety by getting rid of the entrance to the former industrial property at 127 Elm St. that the town purchased a few years ago.

Also needed, Bartolomucci said, are improvements to the west end parking lot and completion of the walk-bike trail around the park perimeter, which was the top recreation facility request by residents in a survey last year.

Since the meeting, a petition article to add $25,000 to the capital reserve fund was submitted.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.